Quick start allows Heart River to roll to win over RaidersBELFIELD — Playing its first home game of the season, the Heart River girls basketball team was in high spirits.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
BELFIELD — Playing its first home game of the season, the Heart River girls basketball team was in high spirits.
The Cougars’ defense was in shutdown mode defeating Region 7 opponent Richardton-Taylor 52-32 on Tuesday at the Belfield High School gymnasium.
“I always try to emphasize to the girls that if we put the effort in defensively and commit to our press, the offense will come,” Heart River head coach Ashlee Viveros said. “When our defensive effort is there, our offense just falls into place.”
Heart River (6-1) made its presence known early, jumping out to an 11-0 lead. Senior Miranda Kadrmas jumpstarted the Cougars’ offense and finished with 12 points and five rebounds.
“We had the energy and the motivation and the heart, being that it was our first home game,” Kadrmas said.
The Raiders’ (4-3) lone basket of the first quarter came with 4 minutes, 27 seconds left on a jumper by Amber Rebel.
“Their shots went in and ours didn’t,” Richardton-Taylor head coach April Berger said.
Heart River extended its lead 14-2 to finish the first quarter after a Kadrmas 3-pointer.
The Cougars came into the game with the best defense in Region 7, allowing 40 points per game. The Raiders were scoring 56.5 points per game.
Heart River dominated all facets of the game except free throws. The Cougars were 7 of 25.
“That’s definitely something we are going to need to work on,” Viveros said. “We work on free throws everyday in practice.”
Despite not shooting well from the line, Heart River maintained a 22-11 lead at halftime.
Viveros didn’t have much to say to team in the locker room except to continue the pace.
“It was more just making the adjustment at the half,” she said. “I had nothing bad to say about their effort or their heart.”
Berger had a little different message for her team at the half.
“I just challenged them at halftime to see who wanted it more,” she said. “We did a better job in the second half.”
The Raiders made it an eight-point game, 30-22, midway through the third quarter, but couldn’t get past the Cougars offensive stride.
Logan Olson, the Raiders’ leading scorer, didn’t capitalize on any opportunities in the first quarter. However, she was the leading force in the third and finished with a game-high 19 points.
Heart River continued its dominance in the fourth quarter, outscoring Richardton-Taylor 16-9.
At the 3:33 mark in the fourth, the starters were out and the bench was in for the Cougars.
“We have a very strong bench, no matter who it is,” Kadrmas said. “They can go in and get the job done for us.”
The Cougars had an all-around scoring effort. Karli Northrop had nine points while Mary Hlebechuk added eight points and four rebounds. Quinn Steffan posted seven points and eight rebounds.
Heart River continues its season 7 p.m. Monday against Dickinson Trinity.
“We just try to take it one game at a time,” Viveros said. “It’s more (about) not looking at the big picture, but taking it one step at a time.”
RT 2 11 23 32
HR 14 22 36 52
RT: Miranda Kadrmas 12, Karli Northrop 9, Mary Hlebechuk 8, Quinn Steffan 7, Jennifer Praus 4, Nettie Splichal 4, Janessa Schmidt 4, Alex Poland 1, Alexis Rustan 1.
HR: Logan Olson 19, Mikayla Aluise 3, Amber Rebel 3, Sami Steiner 3, Halle Olson 2, Brianna Steiner 2.
3-pointers: RT 2 (L. Olson 1, S. Steiner 1), HR 3 (Hlebechuk 1, Kadrmas 1, Northrop 1). Free throws: RT 4-8, HR 7-25. Total fouls: RT 16, HR 15. Fouled out: RT, (Rebel). Rebounds: RT 32, HR 35 (Steffan 8). Records: RT 4-3, HR 6-1.